Thursday, August 31, 2006

London! London! London!

Woo hoo!

I bought my ticket to London this morning. I got a pretty good deal on US Air, I think.

Although with the way my luck tends to run, I'll find a cheaper ticket tomorrow. The tickets I've been seeing have been priced around $700. GAH! Way too much. Today, I saw a ticket on Orbitz for $467. When I went to US Air's webpage, the price was $456 departing from a closer, more convenient airport (DC National vs. Baltimore/Washington). YAY!

Now, all I have to do is buy a few guidebooks and figure out when and how I should go to Scotland (Glasgow).

Let the Vacation Countdown BEGIN!

Edited to Note: In my excitement I forgot to include my travel dates. I'm leaving on the evening of October 6th, returning on October 22nd. Anyone want to PsychoKittysit?

After the Plethora of Posts

I think things will be a little slower here in VUBOQville today. Crazily enough, I actually have work to do. Not that I'm going to do it today (that's what Last Minute Friday Rushes are for), but I need to start getting everything organized ...

What must be done:
1. Update internet factsheet and table
2. Assign contact list updates
3. Update training manual
4. Compile and distribute monthly Federal Register table
5. Phone schedule for next week
6. Begin creating graphs for annual report

fun fun fun

Yesterday, after work, not much exciting happened.

I walked to Whole Foods.
I bought groceries.
I walked home.
I knitted.
I did laundry.
I knitted.
I ate a veggie burger.
I knitted.
I watched Walk the Line (which I loved, btw).
I called Mike, but it went straight to voicemail.
I didn't leave a message, because I was going to bed.
I went to bed.

I need to work on some exciting plans for the holiday weekend.
Mike wants to go to Be Bar's grand opening on Friday.
We've discussed possibly taking the bus to Philadelphia, but I don't know if we will.
I wonder if the weather will be good though?
If not, maybe it would be fun to just stay home and watch movies.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Not a Post about Uranus, Pussy Lips, or Fucking

Even though no one else in Silver Spring/ Takoma Park (MD Legislative District 20) reads this blog, here's an open letter to our State Senator ...

Dear Senator Ruben:

I realize you actually have competition this year for your long-held Maryland Senate Seat, so I can see how someone who lists her occupation as "elected official" might be getting worried. However, I am tired of your ceaseless campaign mailings. As of yesterday, I have received over a dozen mailings from you, more than all the other candidates combined.

You've made your point.

Even with your endorsement from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, I'm not going to vote for you. If you truly believed that "leaving a healthy environment to our children is our greatest responsibility," would you continue to mail out so many environmentally-unfriendly flyers?

I doubt it.

Your greatest responsibility appears to be re-election. It's time for someone new.

Sincerely,
vuboq

Uranus Is a Big Black Hole

I am so juvenile.
I giggled all through Frank Deford's sports commentary this morning on NPR.

Pluto's Link to the Sports World

Listen here.

Tag a Photo 'Pussy Lips' and the World Will Beat a Path to Your Door

It would seem that the Flickr photo world is filled with a bunch of PERVY MONKEYS.

I uploaded this picture:

Pussy lips

on August 24th. As of a few minutes ago, it had been viewed 78 times ... probably by some very disappointed pervy monkeys.

I tagged it with pussy, lips, and Isabella. It is now my 5th "most viewed" photo.

As a comparison, this photo:

Meatfree11

was posted three days earlier (August 21st) and was tagged with meatfree, squash, orzo, pinenuts, basil, tomato, and cucumber. It has been viewed a whopping 6 times.

I wonder... why the discrepancy?

These Dreams

Interesting day. I've already written three posts (two are still drafts, but will probably be up this afternoon).

When I got home yesterday, I decided to give my new Rodney Yee Back Care Yoga for Beginners DVD a try. I had watched it once on Monday and it looked hard. Doing it didn't seem so difficult. Sure, I can't straighten my legs in half the poses like I'm supposed to, but ... still ... not that bad. This morning my back is a little stiff und sore. I guess that means the DVD worked.

I knitted a lot. I'm trying to finish a Harry Potter scarf by the time I go to the parents' on September 15th. The scarf consists of 19 alternating bands of purple and white. Each band is 22 rows. I started on Saturday and have knit 5 bands so far. If I can do about 1.5 bands per day, I should be done in time, I think. I haven't actually done the math, but that's my goal.

I had two disturbing dreams last night. In the first one, I kept bouncing checks. I have never bounced a check in my life. So, this morning, as soon as I got to work, I checked my bank account. *whew* I'm still good. Yay.

In the second dream, I lived in this weirdly arranged condo building with two cats, one being Isabella. Well, the building caught fire, and I could only save one cat. I felt like I was caught in some weird pet version of Sophie's Choice. I made such a great Meryl Streep.

blah blah blah. I am so bored.

It's for Ass Fucking

Who comes up with TSA's list of items not allowed in carry-on baggage? Who? And are they on drugs?

TSA's Make Up and Personal Items

So, let's review:

corkscrews, knitting needles, sharp scissors, and safety razors? OK!

deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, and mouthwash? GOD DAMN TOOLS OF THE TERRORIST INSURGENCY!!!! Go straight to jail, you HATERS OF FREEDOM!!!

Thank god, for Wonkette ... "Next time the high-school-dropout TSA goons try to take your moisturizer, conditioner, Neosporin, suntan lotion, bath oil or hair gel, just look ‘em straight in the eyes and say, 'It’s personal lubricant, and it’s for fucking.'"

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Vomit Train to Nowhere (aka. Silver Spring)

A few years ago, Robert and I were on the metro returning from Tomoko's wedding party. We were quite drunk. As we sat chatting on the train, I pointed out a guy slumped in his seat across the aisle, about two rows behind us.

"He doesn't look too good," I said.

Robert agreed. The train arrived at Woodley Park Station. Robert disembarked. The doors chimed and closed. Immediately, the "doesn't look too good" guy vomited. Lots.

And it was rank.

The ride from Woodley Park Metro to the next station, Dupont Circle, is long, and, on this trip, it seemed even longer. When the train finally pulled into the station, the entire car EMPTIED, with everyone telling the passengers waiting to board, "Don't get on that car! DON'T!"

At the next station, Metro Center, the train stopped for a very long time. We waited and waited and waited. Finally, the doors chimed and closed with the conductor announcing,

"Thank you for your patience and we apologize for the delay. Someone threw up in one of the cars, and it had to be taken out of service."

Which brings me to Saturday night ...

Robert, Darryl, and I left Halo around midnight (I think). Robert walked to his bus stop, and Darryl walked me to the metro. When I got to the platform, I saw a train was arriving in a few minutes. SCORE! If you miss a late night train, the next one isn't for another 25-30 minutes.

The car was a mess. Newspapers scattered everywhere. Bits of popcorn all over. I found a relatively clean seat and settled in for the ride home. When the train pulled into Union Station, about 6 college-aged kids were waiting. 2 staggered on and immediately plopped into a seat. The other three girls were pulling on a guy who was slumped on the platform. "Come on. Come on," they said, eventually succeeding in yanking him up and onto the train.

*bing* went the doors as they closed.
*blurp* went a little vomit as it hit the newspapers under his feet.
"Here. I think you'll need this," said another passenger, passing one of the girls a plastic shopping bag.

*retch*
*retch*
*retch* went the very drunk boy into the bag.

Fortunately, either my nose has been desensitized or it wasn't overly smelly. The group got off at Brookland, with much yanking and pulling and falling over.

The rest of my ride home passed uneventfully.

Meat-Free Monday: All Smiles Edition

Last night, I made pasta with mushrooms, spinach, and squash. I was bored, so I made it into a happy face.

Meatfree12


Not that I was feeling particularly happy last night. I watched The Squid and the Whale. Good movie. I so love Laura Linney.

I knitted.

Then, I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Which reminded me of my annual Pumpkin Carving Party.
Which reminded me that the one last year was held at John's.
Which reminded me of John.
Which made me sad. I cried.

So, to combat the negativity, I tried to do something positive.

I rummaged through my spare room (currently for storage, eventually an office). I found my Japanese calligraphy set and got to work.

Sitting at my butcher block table,

I laid out the black felt cloth.
I put a little water in the stone basiny thing and rub-rub-rubbed the stick of black ink.
I took a piece of calligraphy paper and folded it into sixteenths.
I put the paper on top of the black felt cloth.
I placed the heavy metal bar across the top of the paper to hold it in place.
With my right hand I picked up my brush and dipped it in the ink.

Back straight. Brush perpendicular to the paper.

Swoosh swoosh swoosh

I made unsteady strokes on the paper. When I learned calligraphy in Japan, my teacher made me write right-handed.

Swish dip press schwing

Having never used my right-hand for any type of fine motor activity, my very first calligraphy stroke was a bit ... wavy.

The sensei laughed at my first attempt. As the weeks wore on, my strokes became steady and straight. Dark and beautiful. Confident.

Dip press swoosh lift

I made more unsteady strokes.

Then, it hit me. I don't freaking remember how to write calligraphy. I remember the stroke order for each character, but I don't remember the technique ... when to press, when to lift, when to twist.

Swish dip twist flick

I put the brush down, balled up my work, and threw it in the trash.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Geriatrics

About one week before I closed on my home and moved, my PCP (primary care physician) stopped accepting my insurance. I had very good intentions to find a new one; however, with the moving, the boxes, and the rapid last minute packing, I lost all my insurance information.

And, then, well, I forgot about it.

Until last week or so. I went online, registered to use the NEW and EASY (*cough*) insurance homepage. However, when I tried to pick a new PCP, the system wouldn't let me. Curse the System! Curse the System!

I meant to call later, but ... well ... I forgot. I don't get doctor-visit-worthy sick very often, so it didn't cross my mind again.

Until today. So, I went online, located about 5 doctors who were in easy walking distance of my office and/or home, and called the insurance company.

It was relatively painless. Except for the screaming my social security number into telephone part. When I said it at a level that my entire office couldn't hear, the little telephone recordingman would say "I'm sorry, but I didn't understand that. Please say your social security number again."

Eventually I did get to speak with a "real person," who explained I couldn't do anything online because they had my old address. Some mail had been returned [stupid post office and they're lack of forwarding my mail. hate them], so they put a "hold" on my account until I called to give them my new address. *geh*

Once that was sorted, I randomly picked some doctor off the list and all was well.

UNTIL, I googled the doctor. I suppose my criteria for choosing a doctor should be more selective than male, walking distance, and able to speak Farsi. It would appear that this doctor's interests are 1) endocrinology and 2) geriatrics.

At first, I thought, "hm. inappropriate." Then, I realized, in gay years*, I am geriatric! My new doctor should be a perfect match.

*VUBOQ's How to Calculate Your Age in Gay Years

If you are younger than 18, AVERT YOUR EYES! WHAT ARE YOU DOING READING THIS BLOG?

If you are between 18 and 30, use your actual age +/- 5.

If you are >30, use the following formula:

[(Your Age) - 30] X 5 + 30 = Your Gay Age

Example: I am 36 years old. Using the formula, I am 60 in Gay Years.

I might as well be dead.

Ms. Terious.

Ok. The Sunday Update post which blogger ate has suddenly shown up. The odd thing is that I wasn't even trying to publish it on Sunday. I was trying to save it as a draft.

Well, now you can read two different takes on the same weekend. At least the Sunday one doesn't read as "poor me" as I remembered.

Also, the fire alarms have stopped. Yay.

The Fire Alarms. They Work Already.

I've been at work for about 20 minutes now.
"They" are testing the fire alarms. They go off for brief spurts of 15-20 seconds about every 5 minutes. I think my head may explode.

Anyway, I wrote a post yesterday at Christal's ... which was promptly eaten, and never published, by blogger. GAH! It's probably for the best, because -if I remember correctly- it started to skew "oh poor me and my life" towards the end. Ick.

Friday, I met Robert and Terry at Fab Lounge for Happy Hour. We had never been there before. It was a nice space (even if it was located above a seedy strip club). Unfortunately, even though it looked pretty, it was dead. DEAD. After a drink or two (ok. 3.), we headed down to Alero for a light nosh and margaritas. Then, we dropped Terry off at the metro and waited to meet Darryl and Mike [They were at another happy hour across town]. Mike was a little tipsy. He's so cute (ok. cuter.) when he's a little tipsy.

We then went to Omega, John's favorite bar. He said it was his favorite because the guys were more "regular," not your airbrushed twink or your supergymbodies ... just "guys." Whatever that means. Secretly, I think it was his favorite bar because of the upstairs porn room [all porn! all the time!]. I had one very strong drink and staggered home around midnight.

Saturday, I was WAY OVERHUNG. Yet, I managed to get to my 10:30 hair appointment on time and mostly awake. I left looking supercute with a too trendy for me, I think, "fauxhawk." The one thing I hate about getting my hair done is knowing that it will never look that good again ... at least not until my next hair appointment (September 30th).

I went home and crashed. completely. I woke up at 4:30 and remembered, "shit! I have to meet Steveandbobby and Robert at 7." Much rushing around and getting ready ensued.

We went to see Little Miss Sunshine, which I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend. I still get the giggles when I think about the dance number at the end. After the movie, we went for a very late dinner at Luna Cafe [avocado and tomato sandwich. yum]. Then, we went to Halo for a couple of drinks. Darryl met us there. Mike didn't want to go out. I didn't stay out too late either, for I was still tired from the Friday night drinking craziness.

Sunday, I slept in (10:30! Yay!). Around 11:30, I headed over to Christal's to check her mail, water her plants, and take a few photos of her condo, which she will be renting soon. Take a peak at the pics over on my flickr account [I also uploaded two cute pics of Mike].

I did nothing for the rest of the day except eat, watch DVDs, and knit. I made a yummy Chinese egg and tomato soup for dinner. So easy. So good. I'm having the rest of it for lunch.

Don't forget today is Meat-Free Monday! Do your part for the environment and enjoy a meat-free meal today! I'll be having pasta tonight, I think. With mushrooms and squash. Mmm. Squash. *meat-free smooches* to all who eat meat-free today!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sunday Update

I'm at Christal's. I came over to take some pictures of her condo for her craigslist ad. She's going to be renting this place in a few months. The pictures are on my flickr count for now. I'll probably delete them after she downloads them. I checked her mail. Watered her plants. And, now, I'm goofing around on her computer with the slowest dialup connection ever.

I decided to check my gay.com profile. I hadn't updated it in over a year (I think). Of course, halfway through making the changes (current status: single. *sigh*), I decided to fuck it all and delete everything. I uploaded a picture from flickr and deleted everything in my profile. I figure if I ever decide to try online "dating" again, I'll simply create a new one. For now, I'm pretty much done with the whole gay.com thing. I met some nice friends through there, but none of the actually dates ever seemed to work out.

Other weekend news ... Friday night's happy hour extravaganza was fun. After TK left, Robert and I met Darryl and Mike. We went to Omega. *geh* I left (alone) around 11:30.

I was super hungover on Saturday, but managed to get to my hair appointment on time. YAY! After 30 minutes of Leah's stylistic magic, in addition to looking super hungover, I also looked super cute. I should have taken a picture, because I can never recreate that "fresh from the salon" look.

I went home, knitted for a bit, and took a major power nap. Then, I met Robert and Steve and Bobby in Chinatown. We saw Little Miss Sunshine, which I thought was excellent. Then, we went to Luna Cafe for a late dinner and Halo for after dinner drinks. Darryl met us there. Mike was too tired to come out (and too bad because he missed me at my super-cutest!).

Today, once I leave here, I'll stop off at the Whole Foods. I'm craving Chinese egg and tomato soup. I have no plans for the day other than veg on the sofa watching movies and knitting. I told Mike that he was more than welcome to join me, but I doubt he will.

I wish I had a better grasp of what was going on there. Oh, well ...

*many happy Sunday smooches*

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Incredible Shrinking VUBOQ

Yesterday, I tried on some cute boots at DSW. I'm still debating if I should buy them or not. The odd thing is that size 9 was too big. 8.5 fit perfectly.

8.5! I haven't worn an 8.5 since 7th grade!

I began thinking about my clothes in general.

In high school, I wore 32 waist pants.
Now, I wear anything between 28-30 [depending on the brand/fit].

In high school, I wore large shirts and pullovers.
Now, I usually wear a small or medium. The only problem is that sometimes, with small/medium long sleeve shirts, the sleeves are too short.

What's happened? Have I shrunk?

I don't think so. I'm still 6 feet tall and (a few pounds shy of) 140 pounds.

Diablo linked to an article this morning which provides a better answer. When I was in high school, I was uncomfortable with my body. I wore clothes that were baggy, that would hide how I look.

My body hasn't changed (much), but my attitude has. I'm more comfortable with who I am and how I look, so I wear clothes which fit. It's kind of nice, actually.

Are You Positive You're Negative?

Twelve weeks ago, tonight, after Jen and Walter's housewarming, John and I went to his house and had unprotected sex. The very next night, while I was at a friend's movie party, he fucked a tall, thin, twenty-something with long hair and bad skin. Thus, beginning one of the worst weeks of my life (so far ...).

A little black spot, a reminder, has been on my calendar since then: August 25th, HIV test. Make an appointment. How hard can that be?

So hard I still haven't done it.
I make excuses.
I'll do it during lunch.
Ooh. Shoe-shopping.
I'll do it tomorrow.
Oops. They don't do testing on the weekend.
I'll wait until Monday.
Hm. I don't finish work on time.
I'll wait until Wednesday.

Maybe if I wait long enough, the worry will go away. Maybe it will wilt and die like a neglected plant. Maybe it will fade like an old memory.

I don't know if it's the results that scare me or if it's the finality ~

He cheated. I have to get tested. It really is over.

Sometimes I miss him. At night, his arms wrapped around me, our bodies pressed together.

I miss him ... until I remember I was losing myself. I stopped doing so many things I loved ... experimental cooking lost its joy, taking classes no longer interested me, even my knitting lagged ... I took bags of my things from his house when I left. He left nothing at mine, not even a toothbrush.

I was being absorbed by his life little pieces at a time. And, now, I'm starting to reclaim myself.

The test ...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

VU-Pollock-BOQ

Playing with the website Jacksonpollock.org:














Love me. Love my art.

At Least Uranus Is Still a Planet

From the WaPo: Pluto Is No Longer a Planet, Astronomers Say

The new definition of planet is "a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit."

As for Uranus, it has definitely cleared the neighborhood.

Poor Pluto. No longer a planet. Simply Mickey Mouse's pet. *sigh*

Withholding Judgement

I didn't get to watch PR3 last night *sniff*
Mike invited me over; however, one of the two dryers in the laundry room was out of order. Thus, it took a lot longer than usual for me to finish my laundry.

I checked the results online, and I am, well, shocked. I am withholding any sort of scathing comments until after I see the actual show (possibly tonight).

In other exciting news, as I was getting dressed this morning, I -somehow- managed to hit my hand on the ceiling fan. Ow. My finger hurts. I think it may be bruised. The sad thing? This is the second time this week I've done that.

A smart person would learn by now to stop getting dressed under the ceiling fan. Unfortunately, I am pretty. And a creature of habit. And like to get dressed in front of my mirror, which happens to put me directly below the ceiling fan.

Last night, I took a picture. I call it Pussy Lips.

Pussy lips


On my computer, Isabella's eyes are all green and glowing and creepy. HOT HOT HOT!

I *heart* my pussy.

*smooch*

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bad Poetry Afternoon!!!

Let the joyous news spread throught throughout the land! It's Bad Poetry Afternoon here at VUBOQville!

Please leave your original bad poetry in the comments. There are no rules other than they should be godawful! Have fun!

Here's my contribution (possibly more to come):

A Poet -Meaning VUBOQ- Uses His Very Nearly Consumed Lunch As a Metaphor for His Life
Bits of pasta swimming in olive oily pesto
Slightly hardened by reheating
Bell peppers
Onions
Veggie Italian Sausage
Farts in the making.

*applause*
Thank you. Thank you very much.

Update: So far, people, I am underwhelmed. Here's another poem, inspired by an article in the WaPO ...

A Foie Gras ban?
Where are we?
Afghanistan?
Or Iran?
Pity the poor
Chicagoan,
Who craves
The liver of a duck
Force-fed grain
from a truck.
Animal cruelty?
Who gives a fuck?

*applause*
*applause*

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Updated Update: Not another poem (I heard that collective sigh of relief!). I just noticed a typo in the first line. GAH! Have I not visited this page like 8 GABILLION TIMES today? GAH! Silently slinks away...

Shouldn't Terrorist Threats Translate to Cheaper Airfare?

With terrorist plots to blow up planes from the UK to the US, one would think that the airfare would be a little cheaper. BAH! Cheapest ticket I've found to London so far = $625 RT. My travel dates are approx. Oct. 7th-22nd (if anyone is so inspired to research bargain flights for me).

Have I mentioned that I hate Orbitz? They do this mean trick where they post a cheap price (say $400), but the very small print will say "$650 including taxes and fees." Bastards.

Meanwhile, does anyone have guidebook suggestions? Last time I went, I took Time Out London, which I liked. This time, I'll need something that includes Scotland. I'm not a big fan of the Let's Go series nor Lonely Planet nor Frommers (or any of the other high-end guides). I usually like Rough Guide, but I don't know if they do guidebooks for the UK.

I'm going to the bookstore during my lunch break. Guess I'll just wander the travel section for awhile.

Saving Money

I got paid yesterday. Yay!
Last night, I paid my bills: mortgage, co-op fee, cellphone bill, and a (very) small donation to Elon University.
This morning, I balanced my account.
Let's just say I transferred some money from savings into my checking account.
Usually I'm OK. My co-op fee check never clears until the first or second week of the following month.

The sad thing is that this was the month I supposedly started "saving money." GAH! I have avoided buying morning coffee at Starbucks. I haven't purchased breakfast out. For the past THREE WEEKS, I've packed my lunch Monday-Thursday. I've been cooking at home every night.

WHERE ARE MY SAVINGS?!?! WHERE?!?!

I should check my VISA bill to see if it is significantly less this month. It had *better* be, or I'm going to be slightly irate.

I suppose I should go back to manually maintaining my budget. I have been keeping a budget for so long that I could mentally track my expenses, knowing when I had overspent/underspent in certain areas. Now, that I'm trying to save, it's a whole nother story.

I'm also toying with the idea of getting a part-time job when I get back from my trip to London. I think it might be fun to work a few nights per week at Borders. I have toyed with the foolish idea of opening a bookstore (small, focused on environmental/nature books with a cute little fair trade coffee shop attached). Maybe working at a big bookchain would provide me with some useful experience.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Shirking My Duties

*heh* That sounds kinda dirty *heh*
Pervy Monkey!

As a member of a commune (er ... I mean "co-op"), sometimes we have to pitch in and do a little building maintenance. For some god forsaken reason, I volunteered to help with the yard mowing. I have no idea why. The only reason I can come up with is that I was drunk at the time I got the email requesting volunteers, and, in my martini-induced euphoria, I thought, "hey, mowing the yard sure sounds like fun."

Completely forgetting that my MOST HATED CHORE EVER! EVER! is mowing the yard.

Back in my fun pre-teen/teen years, in order to "teach us responsibility" or something, my parents made my brother and me mow the yard. I think we had to alternate. I can't remember. I've tried to block it out for so long.

Our yard wasn't all that big, but

a) it was hilly,
b) it was inhabited by easily-angered hornets the size of pigeons, and
c) there was the completely evil weeping cherry tree.

After dodging the Hornets of Doom and mowing the Hill of Death, the siren song of the weeping cherry called. GAH! Mowing under that was a nightmare - leaves in your ears, bugs dropping down on your head, stinging things, creepy things, mushy things, all over! GAH!

And, so, I must mow the yard at my co-op. It's small. It's relatively effortless, but I am putting it off. I was supposed to mow it during the week of August 14th (And today is?). I had almost convinced myself to mow after I got home from work today.

But, I've talked myself out of it already.
It's too hot.
It's too sunny.
I'll do it later.

Maybe Thursday.

I Lived in a Place Where There Were No Hills

Where the people were as flat and uninteresting as the landscape
Where the southern drawl washed over you like warm lake water
Where the sun baked the grass brown and crisp
Where two years stretched into an eternity

I lived in a place where there were no hills,
And, in the heat of Summer, I remember asking my father,
"Where will we sled when it snows?"
He had no answer. It never snowed.

Meat-Free Monday: Leftovers Edition

Last night, I reheated leftovers from when Mike came over for dinner on Saturday. I don't know why this picture is so small ... I think I must have inadvertantly changed the settings on my camera phone. *geh*

Meatfree11


To review, we have the smothered summer squash with basil, orzo with herbs and pine nuts, and tomato and cucumber salad. All yummy. All super easy to make. YAY.

More later.
*smooch*

Monday, August 21, 2006

Why, Yes, I Do Know Where the Closest Likker Store Is From Here!

I was at the Safeway picking up some items for a certain special someone. While standing at the cash register, I caught the last bit of a conversation between the cashier and the previous customer:

Cashier: I don't know. I'm only 17.
Customer: Oh, that's OK. Maybe I'll find one.
Me: What are you looking for?
Customer: The closest liquor store.
Me: HA! Have you asked the right person or what?

Not that I frequently frequent the likker store, BUT it *is* right beside my office building. So, I give her very detailed directions. I'm like that. Detail-oriented.

VUBOQ, the Good Samaritan!

In other news, I may have to write a bitchy note to Burt's Bees soon. I sent them a comment/inquiry on August 11th, and they still have not sent a reply. Very bad customer service. VUBOQ not happy.

And, I figure, while I'm in the writing bitchy notes to companies groove, I might as well send a brief missive to the Silver Spring Downtown Shuttle service asking them to provide proper training to their bus drivers. Apparently, they skipped the "Yield to Pedestrians" lesson. Luckily, I wasn't the one who nearly got flattened by the bus. Two middle school aged boys were crossing with the light, but the bus failed to yield. Not good. VUBOQ not happy.

Update: Here is the comment I sent to the bus people ...

To Whom It May Concern:

At approximately 3:45 this afternoon (August 21st), I witnessed an incident of which I believe you should be made aware.

Two teenage boys were nearly struck by a Van Go Shuttle making a right turn from Fenton Street onto Wayne Avenue. The boys were crossing Wayne Avenue with the light; however, the bus failed to yield. Had the boys not been paying attention to oncoming traffic, they very well could have been hit.

Perhaps it would be in your best interests to teach your bus and shuttle drivers that pedestrians have the right of way when crossing the street.

Sincerely,
VUBOQ

Post. Script.

P.S. Don't forget today is Meat-Free Monday! Do your part for the environment and enjoy a meat-free meal today. *meat-free smooches*

I'm Sorry Is That My Head Spinning Like Linda Blair's?

What a weekend, eh? Some interesting stuff happened, which I'm not so sure I'm ready to share here. Mainly because I'm still processing the earth-shattering ramifications of it all.

Ha. I am such a drama queen.

The further I get from the blessed event, the less important it seems. So, I suppose I'll share ... don't you feel special?

Friday, I met my friend, Jerry, for happy hour at Halo. After two watermelon margaritas, we weren't ready to call it a day, so we headed to Cobalt for another drink. We walked in and -My God!- it smelled like a freakin' sewer! Surprisingly, people were still standing around drinking and talking. Could they not smell it? Had the notoriously bad Cobalt mixed drinks numbed their senses of smell? I refused to be in the bar, so we headed out to the self-serve patio ... mmm ... frozen cosmo.

As we were finishing our drinks, Jerry mentioned that he lived close by and asked if I'd like to come back to his place for another drink. 3 strong drinks on an empty stomach and I agreed. Back at his place he mixed very strong vodka and limeade beverages. We sat on the couch and talked.

Next thing I know, we're making out like crazy. It was hot. I saw the goods. After awhile, I decided it would be best if I left before things got totally out of hand. He walked me out and said he'd call later.

On the way home I had a minor freak out (witness: Jake). I felt like somehow, even though we're "hanging out," I had cheated on Mike. I woke up on Saturday morning with the worst. hangover. ever. GUH. I thought maybe I should talk to Mike. Should I tell him what had happened? Should I not tell him, but try to define the relationship (DTR) more clearly? Should I just shut up and keep having fun?

I had a long talk with Darryl, who, in his wisdom, convinced me there was no need to discuss the making out. I busied myself with talking to a few other friends and getting ready for dinner. Jerry called wanting to discuss what had happened, but I told him I was still processing everything. He seemed OK with that.

Mike came over around 7. We ate dinner (which was yummy! If I do say so myself). We took Luna for a walk in the park. We watched Auntie Mame (not the Lucille Ball musical). We made out on the couch. He gave me yet another mind-blowing blowjob. *rowr*

We did not DTR.

He left a little after midnight.

Sunday, I blobbed around the house. I went over to Christal's to check her mail, water the plants, and goof around on her computer. I came home. I watched movies. I had a wonderful dinner of microwave popcorn and leftover wine. I talked to a lot of friends. The cuzin and I had a heart-to-heart.

And, I decided that I'm really happy -right now- with the status quo. I like being with Mike. I like spending time with him. I like everything we do together. I think Jerry is interested in being in a long-term relationship, and, even though I do eventually want to be in something long-term with someone, I don't want that right now. Plus, I don't think -right now- I can emotionally handle fooling around with more than one person. Soooo ... this evening, I need to call Jerry and explain what I'm thinking ... and hopefully we'll be able to salvage our friendship, at least.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Back Problems

I bought a DVD a few minutes ago.

I know. I know. I'm supposed to be "saving money."

However, I'm bored. No one is updating their blogs frequently enough for me. I have precious little to do.

Plus, this is the DVD I bought. Since my back has been hurting a lot lately, I thought maybe doing back-oriented yoga would help. We'll see ...

Coinky-Dink.

Wednesday night, after Mike dropped me off at home, I was going through my usual "things I need to do tomorrow" mental list. I started compiling a list of people I needed to email ... Christal, cousin, Mike, Mike (the bellringer), etc. etc. Then, I thought, "Hey, I haven't heard from Jerry in ages. I should email him to see if he wants to get together for happy hour soon."

Thursday morning, as I was sitting at my desk writing my usual "things I need to do today" list on my Post-It notepad, I got an email ... from Jerry!

Isn't that weird?

The cosmos and our schedules have converged. We're meeting for happy hour today after work. YAY.

The Days, They're Getting Shorter

Maybe that's why I've been in a bit of a funky mood recently.

I noticed this morning that my room was dark(er than normal) when my alarm went off. I hit snooze repeatedly. I finally got out of bed when the room was sufficiently bright. Of course, this threw my entire "rush through the house and out the door by 7:30" schedule off a bit (since I didn't get out of bed until a few minutes after 7, as opposed to my usual 6:30ish).

Last night, I decided not to make coffee in the morning, but to treat myself to Starbucks and muffin. However, since I couldn't get out of bed, I didn't have time to make lunch (exacerbated by the last minute decisions to blow dry my hair in the back and iron a shirt). Because I am in money-saving mode, I didn't feel like buying coffee/muffin AND buying lunch would be a good thing to do.

Thus, I'm stuck drinking crappy office swill this morning. I'm blaming the Earth and its wacky revolution around the sun for this!

more later.
*smooch*

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Food. Mmm.

I invited Mike over for dinner on Saturday and to watch DVDs. The DVDs are taken care of - The Squid and the Whale, Auntie Mame, and Mrs. Henderson Presents. Dinner, however, will be a bit more of a challenge.

I feel like I've already blown my wad (so to speak). I've cooked several things that I *know* I can cook well or I cooked in advance and knew weren't awful. A lot of the foods that I can make are more cold weather meals - hearty soups, chilies, curries ... so, what to make for a nice Summery dinner? I've made pasta salad out the yin-yang. I've made gazpacho. I've made melon soup. I don't want to reprise the (admittedly wonderful) stuffed heirloom tomato.

Dilemma.

After much thought, I decided on the meal's focus - summer squash. I searched Epicurious and found this: Smothered Yellow Squash with Basil. YUM. I thought maybe I could make a simple tomato and cucumber salad to accompany it, along with orzo tossed with pine nuts and feta. YUM. My mouth watered just thinking about it.

Until I remembered that Mike doesn't like feta [what is wrong with him?]. So, I went back to Epicurious. I will probably try this: Herbed Orzo with Toasted Pine Nuts (with some modifications).

I'll pick up the ingredients at the Silver Spring Farmer's Market on Saturday. YAY. And, I'll need to find a nice wine, too. Probably something white. And not too sweet.

Totally Gross Note: As I was proofreading this entry, I sneezed twice. The first time, I had a tissue. The second came on quite suddenly and I was caught unprepared - with phone ringing, eating, typing ... let's just say the front of my shirt may never be the same. I thought you should know.

Distraught

How could they have auf'ed sweet, wonderful Alison and let horrible, crazy Vincent stay? HOW? GAH!

And, now, I don't know where I'm going to be able to watch PR3, because right before Alison got the auf, Mike said, "If they kick off Alison, I'm never watching this show again." Maybe he was kidding. I hope. I hope. I hope.

On the plus side, my future ex-boyfriend, Michael, won! YAY! So happy. *does a little dance*

Lessee ... what else ... my back is killing me. I think I've been sleeping in weird positions or something. It does not feel good. And hasn't felt good for the past 3 days. AND, when I mentioned it to Mike, he said, "I don't give backrubs." WHAT?!?! I am seriously re-evaluating our "hanging out."

No PR3 + No backrubs = the DOOM of OUR TIME

Anyway, last night, I did one load of laundry. Yay! Clean socks! And made a very simple chili. Something you can do at home:

VUBOQ's Very Simple Chili

1. Cook 1 clove of garlic in olive oil.
2. Add about 1/4 cup of diced onion. Cook until almost clear.
3. Add one can of diced tomato with chili [I like to use fire-roasted tomatoes].
4. Add one can of black beans (rinsed).
5. Add about 1/3 cup frozen corn.
6. Pepper, salt, chili powder to taste.
7. Cook until heated through.

Serve over cornbread and top with cheese.

Simple. Delicious. YUM.

and, that's the news for now. More later. *smooch*

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

North Carolina, Here I Come! Next Month.

I bought my ticket to North Carolina. The flight sucks - Dulles to Greensboro via Atlanta [5-6 hours flight time], but the price was right [$150]. My brother will pick me up at the airport and, then, we'll drive to my parents' house. I think it's about 3 or 4 hours from Greensboro. Ugh.

Considering that I will have to get to the airport 3 HOURS before departure (current TSA recommendation), I will be in transit for over 12 hours! GAH! I hope the parents appreciate this. Or at least reimburse me for the ticket. *heh*

One of the (very few) positives is that I'll be able to visit one of my favorite pottery/art shops. Yay! And maybe convince my parents to buy me things. YAY! I bought a coffee mug for the Cheating Cheater there. I should have taken it with me. bah. Here's the mug:

coffee and flowers


Speaking of the Cheating Cheater, for some odd reason, I really started missing him last night. Thank goodness I removed him from my speed dial or I probably would have called him. And that would've been messy. Sometimes I don't think about him at all. Other days, he's all I think about. So stupid.

The other day, Mike and I drove by his house (well, not right by, but close), and I mentioned something about him. Mike said, "You really miss him, don't you."

I stammered out an answer of yes, sort of. I miss having the good times that I had with him, but I don't miss the way he made me feel at the end. I don't miss that at all. I guess "missing" and "wanting to get back together" are two different things. And, I guess I'm not as over him as I want myself to be.

Cocktail Hour

In order to save money for my London Holiday in October, I have issued a moratorium on the purchase of new bottles of booze. Drink what you have is my new alcohol mantra. So far, I have worked my way through two bottles of vodka and the last of my gin ... which leaves me with a bottle of kahlua, two bottles of tequila, some blue curacao, two bottles of dry vermouth, a smidge of campari, and some of my homemade strawberry limoncello.

When I want a drink, trying to decide what to make with those ingredients is an interesting challenge.

Last night, I came up with this:

2 parts coffee (leftover from the morning)
1 part vanilla ice cream
1 part kahlua
1 part tequila (well, mezcal, actually)

Shake over ice. Strain into chilled martini glass.

It was surprisingly delicious.

Meanwhile ... I have also been successful with some of my other money-saving attempts:

I have 1) packed my lunch everyday except Fridays for the past 3 weeks [today, I'm having a pita stuffed with hummus, lettuce, and the last of the pesto pasta salad] and 2) I am cooking more meals at home! I have only eaten out on the weekends. YAY ME!

I would love to hear other people's money saving ideas, too!

Tonight is Project Runway! YAY! Unfortunately, I may not be able to watch it "live," because tonight is also Laundry Night. I need to confer with Mike to see what we can do. At least, if I can't make it over tonight, I'll be able to watch it on TiVo tomorrow night. It's not the same though.

And, lastly, I *finally* watched Transamerica the other night. I thought it was a good film. The son was hot. However, sometimes, I felt like Bree (Felicity Huffman) was portrayed more as a caricature [Wait! Wasn't that a Dorothy Michaels move?] than a real person. Did anyone else have that impression?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Book Meme

Since I love books, I'm stealing this from Sticky Crows

1. One book you have read more than once: Watership Down by Richard Adams

2. One book you would want on a desert island: Something long, like The Complete Works of Shakespeare

3. One book that made you laugh: Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson

4. One book that made you cry: Give Me My Father's Body: The Life of Minik, the New York Eskimo by Kenn Harper

5. One book you wish you had written: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

6. One book you wish had never been written: Eh. Can't really think of anything ...

7. One book you are currently reading: Shakespeare: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd

8. One book you have been meaning to read: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I pick this one up all the time at the bookstore, but haven't bought it ... Maybe with my next Borders Rewards Certificates.

9. One Book That Changed Your Life: Lonely Planet Japan

10. Now tag five people: Feel free to volunteer ...

Meat-Free Monday: God Damn I'm a Good Cook Edition

Sometimes the experimental cooking goes horribly, horribly awry. Other times, like last night, it's an amazing and delicious success. I wanted to lick my plate it was so good. YUM!

Last night, I made a stuffed heirloom tomato on a bed of salad greens with a reduced balsamic vinegar sauce and (leftover) pesto pasta salad. *drool*

Here's what I did:

Stuffed heirloom tomato:

Slice off the top of the tomato and scoop out the insides. Dice the insides.
In a hot pan, saute some garlic and onion in olive oil.
Once soft, add the diced tomato innards.
Cook until mushy and not as liquidy.
Add other veggies - I added frozen corn, green beans, and roasted red pepper.
Add cornbread [I think I used about a cup of diced cornbread from Whole Foods].
Add lots of parmesan cheese.
Add toasted pinenuts.
Once everything is sufficiently warmed and cooked, refill the tomato.

I thought about cooking the tomato, but decided that it would become too soft and be unmanageable.

Meanwhile,

Balsamic Reduction:

Pour about 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar into a small pot. Simmer until it is reduced by about two-thirds. Then, add a dollop of butter.

The pesto salad was leftover from the picnic on Saturday. BUT, I made my own pesto (basil, olive oil, parmesan, and pine nuts)! It was yummy.

So ... anyway ... here's a photo:

Meatfree10


Trust me. It was delicious!

In other news, I had this totally weird dream last night in which I was visiting Jay in New Zealand (but, wait! Doesn't he live in Australia?). That was fun [You're a great dreamhost, Jay], but somehow, my friend, Darryl, and I ended up at my parents' house (still in New Zealand). In the course of Darryl telling a story about being mugged, I inadvertantly come out to my folks. Much drama ensued. The conversation went something like this:

[In the kitchen, with my family]
Darryl: Then, he pointed a gun at me.
Me: Was he holding it straight up or to the side? Because a guy I was dating [voice drifts off]...
Darryl: ...
Me: ...
Parents: ...
[Cue Drama]

Lessee ... I actually have some work to do today. bleah. I have to respond to about 13 email and proofread the cute, but not able to write very well, co-worker's responses as well. Plus, I must wander down to the post office. AND, I have to figure out if I have the money/time to visit Philadelphia this weekend.

FUN. *many happy smooches*

Monday, August 14, 2006

Relationship Babies

Yesterday, as Mike was driving me home, we talked about how long we had been "hanging out." Mike said 3 months. However, using August 25th as my point of reference (that date being exactly 3 months from the last time the Cheating Cheater and I had unprotected sex), I announced, "No. Our Relationship Baby is only 2.5 months."

Mike looked a little confused.

I had to explain that at the 9-month mark of dating the Cheating Cheater I told him, "Congratulations. We've had a Relationship Baby."

On the first date, Relationship Sperm searches for the Relationship Egg. Sometimes, fertilization doesn't occur and there are no more dates. However, if, on the off chance, Relationship Sperm meets Relationship Egg, the miracle of Relationship Life continues ...

During the first trimester, Relationship Miscarriages are more likely to occur. Of course, a Relationship Abortion is also a possibility (if the couple doesn't quite feel ready for the responsibility). Most professionals in the Relationship Community frown on late-term Relationship Abortions and Partial-Birth Relationship Abortions; however, sometimes these must be done to protect the health [and sanity] of the individuals involved.

After a healthy Relationship Baby is born, there is the risk of Sudden Relationship Death Syndrome (SRDS). Proud Parents should always make sure their Relationship is sleeping on its back [with its heels in the air] [OK, maybe not].

And that's what happens when VUBOQ gets carried away by a metaphor.

Exciting Announcement!

Tomoko is my oldest (not by age. That would be you, Terry) friend in DC. We met on the first day of Graduate School Orientation.

Now, after seven years of being blogless, the Adventures of My Very Very Good Friend and Saturday Afternoon Margarita Partner-in-Crime, Tomoko, are now available for ALL TO READ!

Check out Tomokito and tell her VUBOQ sent you.

*smooch*

A Good Weekend Was Had By All ...

... or At Least By Me

Friday Happy Hour with Terry, Tomoko, and Robert was fun - margaritas at Cafe Citron, frozen cosmos at Food Bar, [Mike joined us for] dinner at Straits of Malaya (great food, indifferent service). I can't remember what we did afterwards though. Hm ... stupid margaritas and frozen cosmo-induced memory loss.

Saturday, I did lots of blobbing around the house. The weather was stunningly perfect. I went over to Christal's to check her mail and water her plants. Then, I went to Whole Foods. While there, I called Mike and we decided to have a picnic. Robert was too busy to join, but Tomoko said she could meet us. I whipped together a yummy [homemade!] pesto pasta salad and pita sandwiches (with hummus, tomato, black olives, basil, roasted red pepper, and feta). Mike brought drinks and dessert and a chihuahua, named Luna. We picked up Tomoko around 6:15 and drove into Rock Creek Park. Tomoko brought yummy chips. We ate, talked, and I taught them how to play a Davis Family Picnic Tradition: Death Croquet.

I haven't played Death Croquet in years, so it was great fun. Especially when MikeTomoko roquet'ed my ball into a big hole at the base of a tree (Thanks, MikeTomoko. bastard). It started to get a bit cold (and dark), so we packed up our bags and the dog and drove Tomoko home.

We then went to my place and watched Shopgirl, which was good, but not what I was expecting. You would think a movie written by and starring Steve Martin would be ... erm ... funny. It had some "chuckle moments" but was mostly serious. Mike seemed to like it more than I did. We had a little fun on the couch; however, the presence of a very needy chihuahua prevented more than a little fun from happening. gah. Stupid dog.

Sunday, I slept in a little later than usual (10!). Once up, I made coffee, knitted for a bit, and around noon finally decided to make breakfast. Mike called around 1ish and we decided to go to the National Arboretum. I'd never been before and it was quite fun. The bonsai garden was amazing, as was the herb garden. Mike says the water garden is cool, too, but we didn't make it there. Given my interest in plants, he was surprised that I had never been there. I blame laziness - no car and too unmotivated to figure out bus schedules.

After leaving the Arboretum, we went to visit Mike's friend. We watched Moulin Rouge and ate pizza. YUM. I was so craving pizza. Mike took me home around 9:30.

And, that was my weekend. Chock full of fun and excitement.

Don't forget: Today is Meat-Free Monday! Do your part for the environment and enjoy a meat-free meal! *meat-free smooches* for those who do!

Friday, August 11, 2006

I Had a Dream

A wonderful dream.
OK. It wasn't actually "wonderful," more like "thought-provoking" or "slightly irritating."

The only part I remember is I was having a conversation with the Cheating Cheater and he said, "Do you think you made a mistake?" [referring to me breaking up with him, I suppose]

"Yes" was on the tip of my tongue, but, before I said it, I woke up and thought, "NO. It was you who made the mistake. Bastard." I fell back asleep quickly.

Mike and I went to see Pirates of the Carribbean (Carribean? Caribbean?) last night. It was good. Not so sure it was full-price $10 good though. I didn't like it as much as the first one. Mike said he liked it a little better. Eh ...

Then, we went to the store and back to his friend's condo (he's housesitting this week and next) for sandwiches and sleep.

This morning, I got to sleep in a bit because I didn't have to come to work until noon-ish. Mike dropped me off at Union Station on his way to work around 9. Very nice. I like these casual mornings. I made espresso/latte-like thing and cheesy toast for breakfast. After eating, I puttered around the house - ironing, cleaning a little, etc.

I'm meeting everyone for Happy Hour tonight after work. Yay. I'm still trying to convince Mike to join us. And that's pretty much it, for now.

*smooches*

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bleah Day.

On Sunday, after the BBQ, I have a distinct memory of Mike and I planning to do something tonight ... and that I would stay over at his place, since I don't have to be to work until 12:45 tomorrow. He mentioned taking a half day off and making breakfast. Tuesday, when he came over to watch the movie, he seemed less enthusiastic, mentioning that he may not be able to take a half day off. Last night, when I brought it up by asking what we should do - movie? dinner out? - and trying to figure out how I would coordinate the whole thing, he seemed even less receptive. First, he was confused, like he didn't know what I was talking about. Then, when he finally remembered, he didn't seem very interested. He said that he didn't think he'd take a half day. Not that that really matters, but ...

I've been looking forward to this all week. He barely remembers talking about it. Can someone be *that* forgetful?

I guess his apparent lack of enthusiasm combined with the weather has affected my mood some.

Random Bits of Morning Naughtiness

*Michael Knight [not this one]is my new boyfriend, so back off biatches! His Pam Grier update was HOT HOT HOT! Now ... how do I let him know of his new VUBOQ BF status? Let the STALKING begin!

*Pity the poor air traveller for the next few days! No liquids on US Airplanes! Please empty your bladders before boarding, then step into our new My Gay BestFriend Human Dehydration Machine (patent pending). You will (more than likely) be rehydrated on arrival at your destination. [My Gay BestFriend Human Rehydration Machine still in R&D phase].

*Courtesy Wonkette: Best. Titles. Ever, a Flickr group of government publications. Two of my favorites - What Every Member of the Trade Community Should Know About: Distinguishing Bolts from Screws and Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation : Are We Doing Enough?

*This month marks my 7th year in the DC/Metro area. It is the longest I've lived in one place ever. However, the longest I've lived in one house still remains 6 years in Rural Hall, NC. I lived there from 1982-1988. Given my penchant for relocation, I don't know if I'll ever beat that record.

*Finally, does anyone else have a Morning Mix Playlist [songs you listen to first thing in the morning) in their iTunes Library? If you do, please share. These are the songs that help me get my day started:
  1. Hips Don't Lie by Shakira, featuring Wyclef Jean (Oral Fixation, Vol. 2)
  2. Copacabana by Amanda Lear (Gay Happening Limited Edition: Golden Disco-Hits 2 (Remixed & Reloaded))
  3. Travelin' Thru by Dolly Parton (Single)
  4. Jenny from the Block by Jennifer Lopez featuring Jadakiss & Styles (This is Me ... Then)
  5. Montaaju by Makihara Noriyuki (Single)
  6. Independence Day by Melanie C (Bend It Like Beckham Soundtrack)
  7. Spice Up Your Life by the Spice Girls (SpiceWorld)
  8. An Easier Affair by George Michael (Single)

Have a groovilicious day! Probably more later ...

*smooch*

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Upcoming Travel Plans in Vuboqville

I really need a vacation. Unfortunately, I am hoarding all my vacation time for a 2 week VAY-KAY in October.

Right now, the only other travel plan I have is my pilgrimage to [near] Asheville to visit the parental units (and the Brother). Here they are in lovely matching knit hats and scarves, as knit by yours truly:


familyhats


Aren't they cute?

Anyway, looks like I'll be taking a half day on Friday, September 15th, flying to Charlotte, where my brother will pick me up. Then, we'll drive the THREE ADDITIONAL HOURS to the folks' house. We'll spend Friday and Saturday nights there having loads of fun, I'm sure. Sunday, the parents will drop me off in Charlotte on their way to the beach (or somewhere).

My Long October VAY-KAY will be from October 7th(ish) to 22nd(ish). I'll be going to LONDON! YAY. Here's a picture from the last time I was in London:



I can't remember when this was; however, judging by the JCrew overcoat and still relatively clean bright blue Timberlands, possibly early March 2003?

[many minutes of deep thought later]

Yes! I just remembered! I went to London for my 33rd birthday! HAH! I'm a genius!

That's my friend, and former co-worker, Anne-Marie. We worked together in Japan. Her boyfriend, Kurt, took the picture. He was one of my students when I taught in China. I'll be staying with her again. Not sure where she lives now. She bought a new house. I think it's somewhere in South London. She used to live near the New Cross Gate train station ... the new place could still be close to there. Or it could be somewhere else. I'm almost 75% certain that it is in LONDON though!

WOO HOO! I'm going to LONDON!

I'm also hoping to hop the train up to Scotland for a couple of days. My friend, Mike, is moving to Glasgow at some point this Late Summer/Fall. It would be cool to hang out with him and his boyfriend, Matt, for awhile. AND, maybe even buy some ... YARN! WOOL! Scottish Wool! Aren't they famous for wool? I could KNIT! SWEATERS! HATS! SCARVES! WOOL!

OR maybe I'll just buy whisky! Mmm. Whisky. I learned this fascinating fact the other day:

In Ireland and the United States, it's spelled whiskey.
In Canada and Scotland, it's whisky.
How do you remember this? If the country has an e, so does the booze!

Hmm... perhaps I should start looking at airfare.

And soliciting advice on places to go/ fun things to do. [Keep in mind, Advice-Givers, that I've been to London several times (like maybe 6?) so I need interesting, unique places to go/ fun things to do]

*smooch*

Adventures in Cooking

Yesterday, when I took my garbage out, there was a big cloud that looked like a crowing rooster. It was wispy, possibly some sort of cirrus cloud formation. The next time I went outside it was gone.

I thought you should know.

Mike came over for dinner and a movie last night. We ate leftover melon soup, and I made macaroni and cheese and spinach.

The macaroni and cheese was a minor disaster of sorts. Quoth Mike after eating it, "My teeth feel chalky." I think I either a) overcooked the pasta by a minute or two or b) screwed up the roux somehow (perhaps too much flour?) or c) both a and b.

This is what I did [those of you who can cook, please see if you can find an error]:

Over low heat, I melted 3 tbsps of butter. Then, I slowly whisked in approximately 3 tbsps of flour [I hate my measuring spoons, so this is a used the 1 tablespoon but still a best guess estimate]. After all that dissolved, I continued to whisk until it looked kind of bubbly. Next, I slowly added about 1.5 cups of milk.

I cooked that over low heat (continuing to stir with the whisk) until it started to look thickish. After that, I added about 1.5 cups of grated cheddar cheese. And stirred until the cheese was melted and the sauce looked all creamy and stuff.

After adding the sauce to the drained pasta, I set it aside and waited for Mike to arrive. When he (finally) came in, the sauce was dryish and clumpy, not creamy. WHAT HAPPENED?

I thought the spinach was a bit gross, but Mike -after sniffing it twice- pronounced it good. Usually I use fresh spinach, but, because I was feeling lazy [after the time-consuming labor-intensive roux], I used frozen. I sauteed a clove of minced garlic in olive oil. Then added the partially defrosted spinach and balsamic vinegar.

Mike did say after the meal, "Be careful or you'll start to be known as a good cook."

Ha. Like that will ever happen. He just hasn't been subjected to some of my more famous experimental cooking disasters. Give it time yo.

After dinner, we snuggled up on the couch to watch V for Vendetta. I thought it was a good film. The "message" was applied with all the delicacy of a sledgehammer, but ... still ... it gave me something to think about. Mike said he'll need to watch it again to get all the references ... (and also) I think because I had to keep pausing and explaining plot points to him. That got a little old after awhile.

He left soon after the movie ended. We're going out tomorrow night. Yay. And, we'll probably watch PR3 tomorrow as well.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Meme. Stolen from a Lemming

and probably several other bloggers, too.

1. How tall are you barefoot? 6 feet even
2. Have you ever been cheated on? Yes by the Cheating Cheater who Cheated Cheatfully.
3. Do you own a gun? No.
4. If you had a mental disorder, what would it be? Narcissism. Is that a mental disorder?
5. How many letters are in your crushes name? 11
6. What do you think of hot dogs? Yuck. Even when I ate meat, I didn't like them.
7. What's your favorite Christmas song? God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Let It Snow!
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee with soy milk
9. Do you do push-ups? No.
10. Have you ever done ecstasy? No.
11. Do you have a boyfriend? Not currently.
12. Do you like the rain? I like warm Spring rain and cooling Summer showers, but I hate cold rain in the Winter.
13. Do you own a knife? Yes, I have a plastic knife the C2wC2 gave me.
14. What do you smell like? Me.
15. Do you have A.D.D.? No.
16. Full initials? SED.
17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: 1) Why am I thinking about C2wC2? 2) I have to pee. 3) Should I go buy a muffin?
18. Name the last 3 things you have bought today. I haven't bought anything yet today.
19. Name five drinks you regularly drink. Coffee, soy milk, water, martinis, and margaritas.
20. What time did you wake up today? Alarm went off at 6:15, was out of bed at 6:45.
21.Can you spell? Yes.
22. Current worry? Am I doing the right thing?
23. Current hate? Nothing really.
24. Favorite place to be? Right now, my favorite place is on my sofa in my apartment.
25. Least favorite place to be? Work.
26. Where would you want to go? I want to go to a tropical beach. Mmm. beach.
27. Do you own slippers? Yes.
28. Where do you think you'll be in 10 years? With someone I love? At a job I enjoy?
29. Do you burn or tan? Burn.
30. Yellow or Blue? Blue.
31. Would you give up your current life to be a pirate? No.
32. Last time your cell rang? Hmm ... I can't remember. I AM UNLOVED!!!
33. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't sing in the shower.
34. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child? Fire.
35. What do you have in your pocket right now? My house keys.
36. Last thing that made you laugh? A funny IM conversation I had with Robert.
37. Favorite bed sheets as a child? Snoopy
38. Worst injury you've ever had? I sprained my ankle once.
39. What was your GPA? I was 2 hundredths of a point shy of graduating Magna Cum Laude at Elon ... so whatever that was. In graduate school, I think I had a 3.8something.
40. How many TVs do you have in your house? One.
41. Who is your loudest friend? All my friends are quiet and demure.
42. Who is your most silent friend? Hmmm ...
43. Does someone have a crush on you? Dunno. Anyone?
44. Do you wish on stars? Sometimes.
45. Do you believe in magic? No.
46. What song represents how you feel at the moment? Absolutely Not by Deborah Cox (I think)
47.What song did you last hear? Hung Up by Madonna
48. What song do you want played at your funeral? I have no idea. Something upbeat, I guess. Maybe a bunch of Irish drinking songs?
49. What were you doing 12AM last night? Sleeping.
50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Mike. [Scary, huh?]

In other news, I'm thinking of making macaroni and cheese tonight. YUM. Anyone have a recipe [that I'll more than likely not really follow] they'd like to share? Mike may be coming over to watch V for Vendetta too. Yay.

*smooches*

Mistakes Were Made

This is a picture of my pussy:

Isabella

Her name is Isabella. She is black and brown. She gives forth the Vomit of Joy. She likes to give kitty massages. She likes to snuggle. She is cute. She is female. She is a cat.

This is a picture of the Cheating Cheater who Cheated Cheatfully's dog:

Oscar

His name is Oscar. He is a sandy brown. He is hyper. He behaves badly. He likes his rubber chewtoys. He is a needy attention whore. He is cute. He is male. He is a dog.

Let's review ...

Cute, male, badly behaved, hyper, sandy brown dog = Oscar
Cute, female, snuggly, massage-giving, black and brown kitty = Isabella

So, last night, when the cute, female kitty jumped on my chest blocking my view of the television, why did I say,

"Oscar, get down!"

Meat-Free Monday: I Followed a Recipe Edition

For those of you who know me well, the title is a bit of a fib. I couldn't resist a little "recipe improv" ... well, that and I couldn't find any lemon grass at the Whole Foods.

So, for my Meat-Free Monday meal, I made a yummy Thai-inspired melon soup (pictured below) and a veggie burger. Mmm ... Here's the recipe I used:

Thai Chilled Melon Soup with Shrimp and Fragrant Herbs [VUBOQ modifications in BOLD]

Soup:
- 3 cups chopped ripe cantaloupe
- 1 tablespoon sugar [omitted]
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger [after mincing one tsp. realized that everything would be pureed so just threw a chunk of ginger in the blender]
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh lemon grass [substituted 1 teaspoon lemon juice]
- 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste (we used Mae Ploy) [probably used more than 1 tsp.]
- 1 can (13 to 14 ounces) coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon salt [omitted]
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Topping [didn't bother with the topping]:
- ¼ pound bay shrimp or chopped cooked shrimp (about 3/4 cup)
- ¼ cup tiny-diced water chestnuts (Fresh ones are great if you can find them!)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

- Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs and lime wedges [garnish smarnish]

1. In a food processor or blender, process the cantaloupe, sugar, ginger, lemon grass and curry paste until evenly puréed. Mix in the coconut milk, salt and lime juice. [Oh, wait, I just threw everything in the blender]
2. In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients together.
3. Ladle soup into small bowls, and spoon a pouf [a pouf?] of topping into each serving. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Pass lime wedges on the side.

Oh. And I chilled the soup for about an hour in the fridge. And I used some chunks of cantaloupe instead of a garnish.

Here it is:

Meatfree9

Love me. Love my melon soup.

*Meat-Free Smooches* to everyone who enjoyed a meat-free meal yesterday ... especially you, Dillon!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Do You Think If I Gouged Out My Eyeballs With a Fork I Would Feel Better?

I'm thinking of making a melon soup for Meat-Free Monday tonight. I found a recipe that looks good. Stay tuned to my flickr page for a photo later this evening. The only potential problem could be the transport of a heavy cantaloupe from store to home.

I may also have a veggie burger. YUM. I love veggie burgers.

Earlier today, Jake and I were IMing about our "type." The guys I've dated have covered a wide range of physical types - black, white, asian, young, old(er), hirsute, hirsuteless, tall, short, thin, "heavier than I am," etc. etc. etc. What did they all have in common? They were all thinky and they all made me laugh. I guess that's my type - The Smart Funny One. And what's your type?

It's Alive! It's Alive! Barely ...

A few hours, a couple of handfuls of soynuts, and lots and lots of water later and I'm feeling a little better. No longer queasy. Just headachy. I can deal with headachy.

My weekend was pretty good. Friday, after I left work at 12:45 (yay!), I metro'ed over to AU to have lunch with Mike and Darryl. That was fun. I spent the rest of the day hanging out with them. Then, Darryl and I went to happy hour. Mike was going to come over to my place later that evening to watch movies.

However, circumstances worked out differently. As I have discussed previously, sometimes Mike is a bit of a flake (due to his thinky nature). On Friday, he was supposed to walk his neighbor's dog, but couldn't find her security code. Much code-finding drama ensued. And, he couldn't come over. I was a little peeved - mainly because I left Darryl earlier than I would have and didn't make plans with Robert so I could get home and tidy up and stuff. Grr. I ended up reading a book all night.

Saturday, I slept in a bit. Had a leisurely breakfast. Then, I went over to Christal's to check on her place. I came home. Took a nap. Watched a movie. Walked to Whole Foods. Made a chickpea salad. Called Mike. Left a message.

He called back about an hour later, "Hey, are you home? I hope so, because I'm pulling into your parking lot now."

Yay! He came over. We had "fun." We ate chickpea salad and pita sandwiches (humus, black olives, tomatoes, cucumber, and basil). He got on this malt kick, so we drove up to Whole Foods to buy chocolate malt balls, vanilla ice cream, and soy milk. I made malts. They rocked! I am the Malt King.

Then, we watched Junebug, which I liked (it was set in a town near where I went to high school) but he didn't. After the movie, we just relaxed on the sofa together. I like it when he's in a cuddly mood. He left around midnight to go walk the dogs again. I went to bed. I like bed.

Sunday, I slept in again. Had a leisurely breakfast. Made a pasta salad. Around 3, I left to go to Tomoko's barbeque. That was fun. But I drank too many margaritas. I don't think I ate enough. And I'm really hungover. Yuck.

I'm not sure if I'm going to cook anything for Meat-free Monday tonight or not. It depends on how icky I feel. I may just do something frozen. Or maybe a veggie burger. BUT, *you* can still do your part to help the environment! Enjoy a meat-free meal today! *many meat-free smooches*

bleah

2 hungover 2 blog

more later...
if i live.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I Leave You With a Slightly Disgusting Story to Read Over and Over Again All Weekend

A few minutes ago, I left my humble cubicle to partake of my office facilities.

As I was standing over the toilet doing my bidness, something splashed into the bowl. I looked, and at first thought it was a dime. But it wasn't. It was the button to my jeans [stupid cheapo A&F button-fly jeans!].

I was faced with a dilemma:

Flush or Retrieve.

If I flushed, I would have to go buttonless for the rest of the day.
If I retrieved, I would have to stick my hand into a urine-filled toilet bowl.

What to do? What to do?
What would you do? What would you do?
What did I do? What did I do? [Is there an echo in here?]

Well, I stood there for a moment.
Debated.
Debated the pros.
Debated the cons.

Took a deep breath.

And retrieved.

GAH! I STUCK MY HAND IN A URINE-FILLED TOILET BOWL TO FISH OUT THE BUTTON TO MY JEANS!! GAH!!!!!

I, then, waddled over to the sink and scrubbed my hands with lots of soap under steaming hot water for AGES!

I feel dirty.

Have a good weekend! *smooch*

A Posting of an IM Conversation: Has It Come to This?

Earlier this morning ...

Diablo: i thought you were thinkerly
VUBOQ: no. i'm pretty.
Diablo: stop confusing me
Diablo: i'm pretty.
VUBOQ: mike. thinky. me. pretty.
Diablo: you have inner beauty
Diablo: way deep
VUBOQ: i do not! stop being so mean!
Diablo: haha
Diablo: true you have no inner beauty
Diablo: im sorry
VUBOQ: thank you.
VUBOQ: so mike sends me this email yesterday and I think, "What have I done wrong to give him this impression..."
Diablo: impression of what?
VUBOQ: Quoth the email: you're very kind to me but more importantly, you're just a kind person all around.
Diablo: GASP
VUBOQ: I KNOW!
Diablo: is he on drugs
VUBOQ: possibly
Diablo: i knew he was off
Diablo: WAY OFF
Diablo: now we have confirmation
VUBOQ: yep
Diablo: he's perfect for you, clutch onto him, don't let go
VUBOQ: haha
VUBOQ: yes. apparently he is easily misled.
Diablo: there's a drug you can use to keep him unaware
Diablo: i'll share some with you
VUBOQ: woo hoo!

Addended to note: I have a small stain on my t-shirt. GAH!

You Know You're Obsessed When ...

You dream you're a Project Runway 3 contestant.

And your design KICKS ASS!

Seriously, last night, I headed over to Mike's to watch the "Bye-bye Keith" episode [Note to Laura: You crack me up!]. He was supposed to drive me home afterwards; however, plans changed and I spent the night.

Yep. And dreamed about PR3. The design challenge was to make a dress using images and inspiration from nature. I ended up making a dress out of this brown vinyl material (that looked like a rock pathway) and a coat out of an astroturf-like material. Trust me. It rocked! It blew them all away! Seriously. I'm awesome.

So, Mike and I have this issue when we sleep together. Apparently, I burn with the heat of a thousand suns at night, and he doesn't like that. "Get away from me," he says, "You're hot."

"I know," I reply.
"Not in that way," he says.

It is so not fun to be sleeping with someone who doesn't like to touch you. This morning, in the car [he drove me to the metro station], I mentioned something about how I become extremely hot at night*.

"I know," he said.
"Wait. That's not what you're supposed to say. You're supposed to say something like 'No, No. It's really not that bad.' We need to work on this."
"What? On my lying?"
"GAH! No. Not 'lying' per se ... a more judicious application of your honesty."

Lessee ... in other good news, I got a free cinnamon roll at Starbucks this morning. She rang my order up [venti coffee and cinnamon roll], but for some reason I was only charged for the coffee. It was odd. I said, "That's not right," but the cashier looked through me to the next customer and said, "May I help you?"

Don't look a gift cinnamon roll in the mouth is the moral of that story.

ALSO, I'm leaving at 12:45 today! Yay! Half-day Friday! WOO HOO! I'm meeting Mike and Darryl for lunch at AU around 1:30. Maybe I'll swing by to see if any of my professors are around too ...

*Only in the Summer. I'm like an ice cube in the Winter.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mission. Accomplished.

In order to save a little extra money for my upcoming October holiday, I'm trying to 1) pack my lunch every day and 2) eat out less. This week, I have!

Monday, I had leftover Thai Drunken Noodle from dinner Sunday night at Thai Chef.
Tuesday and Wednesday, I ate leftover Thai Curry, which I made the previous Friday.
Today, I am having the pasta salad from last night:

Pasta salad


And, tomorrow, I'm meeting Mike and Darryl for lunch at AU. Mike said something about arranging a free lunch. Woo hoo!

Although, I've heard a rumor that there is no such thing as a "free lunch." Maybe I'll have to put out.

Not that that's a problem.

PR3, Pasta, and Planes

Yesterday, Mike said I could come over and watch PR3 at his house. I told him that if I finished my laundry in time I would. The last load came out of the dryer at 8:15, so I called to tell him I could come over.

Unfortunately, his air conditioner was broken and he said it was miserable there. I opted to stay in the cool cool confines of my own home. I did invite him over, but he said that he and his roommates were going out to buy window units. Fine. I'll watch the scrumptious Gonzalo Heredia frolic naked in the shower in Ronda Nocturna (Night Watch) all by myself. In fact, I may have to watch it again tonight. All by myself.

So ... I missed PR3, but thank god for the frequently updated Bravo TV website! I can't believe I was right in guessing that Keith would be kicked off - for cheating! Wow. I'm a television genius! I have my finger on the pulse of America! Everyone should bow down and worship me. NOW! [You, the one in Des Moines, you're not bowing!].

In other exciting news, I made a really yummy pasta salad last night with grape tomatoes, black olives, broccoli, sheep's milk feta, and toasted pine nuts. The dressing was a red wine and basil vinegrette, which was a little too salty, but that's because my hand slipped when I was dumping the salt into the food processor. I think if I make it again (which I might for Tomoko and Emiliano's BBQ on Sunday), I'll use less salt and more vinegar ... and maybe a touch more basil.

I'm having it for lunch today, so there may be a picture posted later on today.

OK. I'm off to investigate airfares to NC. The brother and I can visit the folks either the weekend of 8/26-27 or 9/16-17. I need to see which is cheaper.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Oh, Life/ It's Bigger/ It's Bigger Than You/ And You Are Not Project Runway 3

I'm beginning (beginning?) to obsess about who gets "asked to leave" Project Runway tonight.

First, what rule could one possibly break which would make the Producers kick them off the show?

I have a few ideas:

1. Sex with another designer or member of the crew [Kayne, I'm looking at YOU!]
2. Violence [And who thinks Vincent won't go batshit crazy at some point?]
3. Cheating - getting outside help on a garment, or using materials that weren't allowed or purchased somewhere other than MOOD, or maliciously destroying someone else's garment, or ... or ... or ... the possibilities are endless. My mind reels!

Anyway, I think it's going to be a guy kicked off. And, I guess (hope?) it will be Keith. I'm not sure why, other than he's a cocky bastard and he thinks the rules don't apply to him:

Exhibit A: During the selection process, he brought in menswear, even though he was supposed to bring in women's clothing.
Exhibit B: He didn't actually design those clothes (He "collaborated" on the designs).
Exhibit C: In the "hottest accessory" competition, he didn't design an outfit for his dog like he was supposed to.

So, you have someone with a careless disregard for the rules. And he gets away with it. Eventually, he's going to think he can get away with more and more ... until the Producers can't take it anymore and kick him off.

So, that's what I think. Anyone else have ideas?

I'm Melting. I'm Melting.

So, I left work at 2:30 yesterday (yay!), by the time I got home I was a soggy drippy mess of moisture ... or as one of my former co-workers used to say, "I was glistening."

I'm blaming the heat for my 2 hour nap and the grogginess that followed.

I got up around 5, showered, and, at 6, headed to the bus stop - where I waited a sweltering 25 minutes for the next friggin' bus. What the hell up with that? A bus went by at 5:40, so I figured the next one would come around 6. Ha. Silly me.

I still managed to get to the restaurant before Darryl and Mike - Ha! Oh, right, Mike invited Tomoko, Robert, and myself to join him and Darryl for dinner at Zola to celebrate Darryl's birthday (again). Robert couldn't make it though. The food was yummy. I had the field green salad and a side platter of baby carrots, green beans, and cheesy mashed potatoes.

The green beans fucking rocked my world!!! They were awesome! I made everyone try them:

"EAT THESE GREEN BEANS," I hollered to the table beside us, waving my green bean-laden fork wildly in the air.

Perhaps, I had one too many Zolas, the signature cocktail, which is basically a clear cosmo.

For dessert, Tomoko and I split the Creamsicle, which consisted of orange flavored stuff and cream stuff and chocolate. YUM. Darryl and Mike got the butterscotch flight - three puddings made with 12, 15, and 21 year old scotch. YUM! [I liked the 15 the best].

After dinner, I metroed back to AU with Mike so that he could drive me home. YAY. Then, I came in and crashed. I had a headache - rich food, alcohol, and heat. Not a good combination. But, still, a fun evening.

As an extra bonus, this morning the buses were FREE! Yay for Code Red Ozone Alerts! WOO HOO! AND, I managed to catch the #12, which stops right by my office, as opposed to the #15, which is more frequent, but stops several blocks away.

I have leftover Thai Curry for lunch today. I think I'm going to make a pasta salad tonight for dinner (yum!). It's also Laundry Day and Project Runway 3, in which we will find out who gets asked to leave! Exciting! Not that I can watch PR3 until a few days from now on Mike's TiVo, but, still ...

I think I'm going to the PR3 site to see if I can glean any extra information.

Make it work, people!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Guess Who's Leaving Work at 2:30 Today?

ME!!!
Yay!

I had to cover for a co-worker this morning, so she's covering for me this afternoon.

Very. Happy.

Hopefully, I won't evaporate on the walk home.

In other news, I think I might be meeting Darryl for happy hour tonight. He was supposed to be going out to dinner with Mike, but he said something about Mike falling down last night while walking the dogs and not coming to work? I may give Mike a call later to make sure everything's OK. Anyway, if they don't go to dinner, then Darryl and I will meet for happy hour. If not, I will sit at home alone and knit.

Fun times.

Because You Asked

Tomoko asked to see the very cute (and over-priced) t-shirt I bought to wear to Darryl's party, so here it is:

Tshirt


I really like it and look forward to wearing it out at some point in the future.

Lessee... no Meat-free Monday picture today because I ended up going to Target after work with Mike and then we ate out at El Golfo ... spinach enchiladas. yum. I like going to Target with Mike. He makes my impulse buying look like nothing. NOTHING! I won't mention how much he spent (on a trip where he wasn't really looking for anything in particular), but it was 4 times what I spent! HAH!

I finished my job application this morning (yay!) and will mail it during my 10:30 break this morning. Wish me luck! And, if you'd like to read my incredibly boring repsonses to the KSAs, let me know and I'll post them.

more later.

*smooches*